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Depression Risks Increase with Long Work Hours

Long work hours increase the risk of depression.

European researchers have found the risk of depression more than doubled (OR=2.43, P=0.26) for British civil servants who worked more than 11 hours per day compared with those working 7-8 hours. When data was adjusted for factors like job strain and social support the risk still persisted. Interestingly, the greatest significance was seen when adjusted for socioeconomic status. Those with higher socioeconomic status were at lower risk for depression--even though they worked long hours. Perhaps this is because they have more opportunity to focus on tasks they choose and enjoy? More research is needed in this area.

PositiveTip: A balance in life is necessary for good health. How are you doing?


TV, Exercise and Depression

There are many studies that have demonstrated that the more you exercise the less likely you are to be depressed. A large study recently took a look at TV viewing and exercise in relationship to depression. 

The study followed nearly 50,000 nurses, ages 30-55, for a period of ten years. During this time they were periodically questioned regarding exercise levels, TV viewing, and the presence or absence of clinical depression. No one in this group was depressed at the beginning of the study. 

Depression was documented by a physician’s diagnosis of depression, the taking of anti-depressant medication, or depression diagnosed on a standardized questionnaire designed to pick up severe clinical depression. 

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Depression and Skipping School

School truancy may be a strong signal of depressed kids.

Do you know a young person that is truant? It could be because they are depressed. Research has found that students who are depressed are more likely to miss school. Missing a lot of school days can lead to academic failure and isolation which can increase depression. 

PositiveTip: Teachers and parents, be aware of possible depression signaled by skipping school, then seek professional help if needed. 

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Overweight Children With School Issues May Have Sleep Disordered Breathing

Overweight children who snore may suffer from learning difficulties.

Overweight children aged 10-16 years old with sleep disordered breathing (SDB) often have difficulties with attention span, and suffer increased depression and anxiety. This study found that 30% of students with moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) received a grade “C” or below, while only 15% of students without obstructive sleep apnea received a C or lower. Conversely, 15% of students without obstructive sleep apnea received an “A”, while none of the students with obstructive sleep apnea received an “A”.

Some Risks of Children and Adolescents Using Social Media

A recent report from the journal Pediatrics discusses benefits and risks of youngsters using social media. This series of posts discuss those risks and benefits. This information comes directly from the report.

Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when preteens and teenagers spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression. Acceptance by and contact with peers is an important element of adolescent life. The intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some adolescents.

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Dads Get Post-birth Depression Too

While lower than maternal post-partum depression rates, dads get sad too.

A British study of over 86,000 parents found that rates of post-birth depression was the highest for mothers during the first year of the child's life. Interestingly, dads' depression was also highest during the same time period, but only at a quarter of the rate of mothers.. For both parents the risk was higher if they were younger at birth of their children and also if they live in a lower socioeconomic area.

PositiveTip: Mothers, when your doctor screens you for depression, ask that your husband be screened too!

Parental Connectedness: Violence and Home Atmosphere

Parents fighting behind unhappy child.This is the sixth in a series of blogs about the benefits of parents and children connecting with each other.

There is an abundance of research on conditions at home that relate to violent behavior. They include early aggression and witnessing violence in homes and neighborhoods. Once children are victims of violence they may become perpetrators of violence.

Internet Addiction Leads to Depression in Adolescents

Young despondent girl addicted to the computer.Teens typically use the internet for education and for amusement. While many teens are normal internet users, for others the internet captures the focus of their mind in an abnormal way. They may not know it, but obsessive internet use can become an addiction. 

Internet addiction can be measured using Young's Internet Addiction Scale.

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Chocolate: Friend or Foe?

Could depression lead to craving chocolate or is it vice versa?

Chocolate has been getting a lot of good press lately.

A study of 931 adults seems to rain on the idea that "chocolate improves mood". This University of California-San Diego research has found that people who are depressed are more likely to eat chocolate, and the more depressed they are, the more chocolate they eat. The authors say they cannot yet determine which direction the cause-and-effect arrow is pointing.

PositiveTip: Chocolate may be a rich source of some antioxidants, but it also is very high in sugar and fat. Medicinal consumption should wait until more evidence is available.